What It’s Like to Open Carry as a U.S. Immigrant From Jamaica

Deano wright jamaica open carry

Dennis Wright – best known as Deano – is one of many Texans who say, “I wasn’t born here, but I got here as fast as I could.” This particular Texan got here from Jamaica. Ever since he arrived, Deano has been an enthusiastic ambassador for the Second Amendment who usually carries openly. We got a chance to hear his story firsthand: topics include the importance of the Second Amendment, the experience of CWB (“carrying while black”), and what it really means to love America. Enjoy!

You have an interesting background. How did you end up in Texas?

I was born in Jamaica and I came to Texas in 2002. I chose to come here because of the gun laws. I believe in the right to protect yourself: if you’re legally able to carry a firearm, you should do so. A lot more people would be alive today if they could exercise their Second Amendment rights, and I firmly believe that we should do that, as long as we’re legally able.

Also, when I was growing up, I used to watch TV, and I saw a lot of ‘cowboy and Indian’ movies about Texas. I really wanted to come here! So, when I had a choice to go to school in Florida, California, or Texas, there was no question.

dennis deano wright

You’ve discussed some of your open carry experiences online in groups such as Texas Concealed Carry and Open Carry Texas. Looks like you’ve earned something of a reputation in Houston. Tell me about that.

I find that if I carry concealed, I don’t get a lot of questions. But open carry is how I’ve helped a lot of people who wanted to know where to get a license, where to shoot, and so on.

People of all races have approached me, Asian, White, Hispanic, asking for guidance. A lot of African-American men have approached me saying, “Thank you, thank you for standing tall and doing this for us.” A lot of people are afraid to do it because of the stigma that’s been attached to us.

dennis deano wright

Mostly, I give people information. I’ve had a few female Walmart employees ask me, “Do I need a license to have a gun in my car?” And I tell them, no, in Texas you only need that to carry on your person.

There’s a Filipino man who has a small store. I buy donuts from him every Saturday and Sunday. One day, he said, “Look, I have a gun at home, but I’ve never shot it.” So I said, “What gun is it? Or at least, what caliber is it?” He didn’t know. So, I looked at it, we bought some 9mm ammunition, I took him shooting, and he signed up to get his license right away. But before that, he didn’t know he could have his gun loaded at home and at his place of business without a license. This is an American citizen, a business owner, and he didn’t know this.

The managers of the stores I go to, and the employees and the workers have become used to seeing what a law-abiding citizen who is not a police officer looks like carrying a pistol. They see how I act, how I interact with people, and they say to me, “We feel so comfortable with you here.” I’ve even had someone say, “You left too early yesterday. There was a robbery right after you left!”

Once, I went to IHOP, and when I got my check, I saw there was a law enforcement discount on it. I went up to the counter and said, “I’m not a police officer.” The manager said, “But you have a gun.” I said, “Yes, but I’m not a police officer.” Well, the manager kept talking to me, and he said, “Look, if something happened here, would you help?” I said, absolutely, yes I would. So now, anytime I come, I get the discount. The same thing has happened in some other places.

dennis deano wright
It has been great. It’s a great feeling, even just offering advice, pointing people in the right direction, setting an example. I do things a certain way, I dress a certain way.  It takes away the stigma, and that makes people see me as a protector, not a predator. These business owners welcome me and support my rights, and they get a customer for life.

I am a big supporter of pro-2A businesses, especially local businesses, and especially Texas businesses. Some of my favorites are JM4 Tactical Holsters, TXC Holsters, and Bravo Concealment

You’re not always welcomed, though. How do you handle those situations?

I’ve been to places where people asked me, “Are you going to shoot the place up?”

I say, “No, I’m not here for that. If I’m here, you should feel safe. It means I’ve got your back. If I’m here, that means you’re covered.”

I also tell people, “If you see somebody dressed neatly, with a belt and a holster on his hip, that person bought that holster so he could put it on his hip. That means he’s a law-abiding citizen. Gangsters don’t buy holsters! They don’t use holsters. They put a gun in their pocket, and they buy the cheapest target practice ammunition to shoot people with.”

I was at another place where my wife likes to go shopping. A lady walked in, and I said, “Hi.” She said “Hi” with a look of fear on her face. I thought, okay. A few minutes later, police officers showed up, and I said “Where’s the robbery at?”

When they saw me, they were laughing. They said, “We know there won’t be any robbery here, because you’re here!”

dennis deano wright

I try to turn these stories into something positive, because you will not win anyone by shouting at them, telling them they’re stupid, or anything like that. But I have actually converted people.

You have? Really?

Yes. I’ve had quite a few guys who just kept hating on me online, and I talked to them. I kept my cool, and now they’re following me!

Some people look at my Facebook page and say, “Man, you’re from Jamaica, but you’re more American than anyone I know. It’s too much!” I say it’s never too much.

Once, I was talking to someone online about carrying a gun. I said, “I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States against all enemies.

He said, “You’re not in the military! You’re lying!”

But in fact, when I became an American citizen, I took the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America, and that is exactly what it says. Some people don’t really mean it when they take it.

dennis deano wright

I took that oath, and I take it very seriously. That’s what being an American is. It doesn’t matter where you are; you are going to defend what is right, what is true, and you are going to defend equal rights and equal liberty for all.

In this country, everything is achievable, and until you stop breathing, whatever you want, you can achieve it. It’s amazing what you can do here by working hard.

Do you introduce people to guns?

Oh, yes! Anybody who wants to go shooting, I say, “Hey, I’ll take you right now!”

It’s really something when you can take someone who’s never shot a gun before, and you show them the basic principles, and they can shoot the same place twice. The look on their faces! There’s nothing like that.

What are your plans for the future?

My desire, really, is to go into law enforcement. Everybody who knows me knows this, and if everything works out as planned, that’s the way I’m going. Unfortunately, I’ve had a spouse who was not supportive of that dream. It’s very hard to be in a situation like that. But I’m on my way now. There’s also some activism I would like to do as well.

Why law enforcement?

Well, part of it is that my dad was a police officer in Jamaica. It’s a hard job. The laws are different there. People will just walk up to you and shoot. I have very, very high respect for anyone who serves. Military, law enforcement… there’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I will help in any way I can.

dennis deano wright

Okay, you know I have to ask: What do you carry and why?

I use a basic setup. I have a GLOCK 17. It’s basic, everyone uses it, and it works. It’s like a Toyota. I was a mechanic before and I actually have a degree in automotive technology, so I know those cars will run forever. All you have to do is change the oil. Same with GLOCKs.

When I was in Jamaica, and I was applying for my license over there in about 2001, it took a year to get your license. To do that, you went and trained with soldiers. They taught you how to shoot. Well, they gave me a GLOCK 19, which was a little too small for my hands. They said, “Run and shoot!”

So, I ran, and I shot at an eight-inch steel target. I hit it! I was so surprised! This was my first time shooting, and ever since then, I’ve had the name ‘GLOCK’ in my head. I’ve shot different guns, of course, but the GLOCK is what I use.

dennis deano wright

A lot of people have a gun they use when they go shooting and a different gun they carry. That’s not me. I shoot my Glock on the weekend, when I do IDPA, and all that. I have thousands of rounds through my gun.

If I had to do it all over again, I would’ve bought a Glock 34, which is what I helped my brother-in-law buy when he decided to get a gun. That gun is perfect right out of the box, from the factory.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

The one thing I would like to reiterate is that if you are a legal resident of Texas, if you want to exercise your Second Amendment right to legally carry a firearm, you don’t have to wait five years until you’re a citizen. Once you have your green card, and you have been a legal resident in the same place for six months, you can apply for your license to carry. Just carry your green card, carry your passport, and you’re fine. You do not have to wait. A lot of people don’t know that.

If you’re interested in keeping up with Deano’s future adventures, you can request to follow him on his private Instagram account, @deanodwright. You can also find him on Facebook.

All photos courtesy of Deano Wright.

comments

  1. avatar Ing says:

    This did my spirit some good. As long as this country has people like Deano in it, we’ll be okay.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Chris Mallory would deport this man back to the island.

      I say its time to deport chris mallory.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        I think you are confused. Aliens are NOT the same as naturalized citizens. Even if Obumer crew passed out citizenship willy nilly with the intent and in the hope of creating more demtard votes, many aliens were made new citizens. Unless the citizenship was fraudulent (frequently the case) is a new citizen has the Constitution. Aliens do not.

        IF an overwhelming case that need a temporary alien resident to fill an otherwise not fillable job, issue a temporary work permit. This should be rare and when the work/permit period is over they go home. That is also not deporting. If they illegally overstay their permit, THEN you deport, permanently/no reentry, their ass.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          chris mallory says anybody that wasn’t here prior to 1960 needs to be deported, regardless of status.

          I support legal immigration. Illegals can get out. And they can take chris with them.

      2. avatar CA ST says:

        Who is Chris Mallory?

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Ditto.

    3. avatar Nigel the expat says:

      Absolutely made my morning.

      “So I said, “What gun is it? Or at least, what caliber is it?” He didn’t know. So, I looked at it, we bought some 9mm ammunition, I took him shooting,”

      That. Right there. Bravo Deano, from one naturalized US Citizen to another.

      And whats up with the women’s hair dye section? 😉

      Keep up the good work.

  2. avatar Gunr says:

    Interesting story, seems like one hell of a guy. He can sit at my table anytime, and I’m a “Cracker”.
    However, I’m not much for open carry, why advertise? But that’s a topic for another day.
    Good job Deano!

    1. avatar skoon says:

      I agree open cary has a few serious draw backs to be considered (not that ive lived any where i could open carry). I tell ever person i can about gun rights and invite them to the range. This gentleman seems to have lapped me many times by open carrying in addition to a positive attitude and friendly demeanor. That is winning the hearts and minds and maybe even saving a few lives.

  3. avatar Julian says:

    Great story! Thank you to Deano and other naturalized citizens like him. It has been my experience that most naturalized citizens, my Dad included, place far more value on our Constitutional rights and freedoms than most natural born citizens because they know what it’s like not to have these freedoms.

  4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is WINNING.

  5. avatar Nanashi says:

    “Some people don’t really mean it when they take it. ”

    Hey, we haven’t had a President that meant it since Herbert Hoover.

    “you don’t have to wait five years until you’re a citizen”

    To add to this, I have no idea on Texas carry, but as a legal resident non-citizen you can own guns before a green card with a hunting license from any of the 50 states (doesn’t even need to be one you’ve been to, though unless you’re in a serious gun grabber state an in-state license will generally be cheap and will actually let you, as the name implies, hunt)

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      “Hey, we haven’t had a President that meant it since Herbert Hoover.”

      I believed Obama meant it when he said he wanted to “Fundamentally transform the United States of America”.

      And he tried. And he *failed*…

      1. avatar Nanashi says:

        I was referring to the Oath of Office.

    2. avatar neiowa says:

      HOOVER you approve of? THAT says much. Guy was a fuzzy prog. And his granddaughter is a way lefty (hot though).

  6. avatar Gun Owning American says:

    Now this is what a true patriot looks like.

    1. avatar Nanashi says:

      “Whether one traces his Americanisms back three centuries to the Mayflower, or three years to the steerage, is not half so important as whether his Americanism of today is real and genuine. “

  7. avatar Squiggy81 says:

    Just goes to show you that most people don’t care what color you are. It’s all in how you present yourself. This guy presents himself as a well dressed normal American guy. I welcome any immigrants like him to our great country, no matter where they come from.

  8. avatar New Continental Army says:

    Good stuff.

  9. avatar Robert powell says:

    it is the same thing ,black-white or purple ,if you dress ,consertive, no droopy drawers, baggy shirt and look “gangly” you are going to be hassled. one hell of a lot less.. if you dress like a animal look like an animal ,be prepared to be treeted like an animal. ATTITUDE HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH IT.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      And the pictures seem to indicate that Deano’s attitude is he’s thrilled to meet everybody he meets.

  10. avatar FedUp says:

    But in fact, when I became an American citizen, I took the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America, and that is exactly what it says. Some people don’t really mean it when they take it.

    And that’s a crying shame.
    When some naturalized citizens, Mrs J.E. Bush comes to mind, tell us that illegal aliens are exactly the same as them, I know they perjured themselves when they took that oath.

    1. avatar Anon in Ct says:

      Funny enough, I took pretty much the same oath when I was admitted to the Bar.

      Later I took it again to become a Citizen. There are some folks who don’t really mean it, but there are a lot who do.

  11. avatar Sheep dog says:

    Sometimes OFWG’s can’t Ambassador gun right to everyone everywhere; can’t bridge the racial, gender gap.
    “Mr. Deano” does this.

  12. avatar WARFAB says:

    The guy makes a very strong argument for the benefits of open carry.

  13. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    willingness to assimilate.
    i grew up with a couple dozen kingston kids. not a bad egg in the bunch. even the girls loved their cars and bikeys. and some of them had nine jobs before i entered the workforce.
    (lazy little lima bean).
    just out of high school i’m working with one guy who just moved here at a foreign car garage. he wanted an rd350 and a full face helmet, because both of them were banned in jamaica (road deaths/ bank robberies). i later found that bike in an intersection and him in the hospital with a broken jaw.
    he had never seen snow. sledding on the toboggan hill was a revelation.
    he did not join the bobsled team.

  14. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    Your appearance matters. Despite what Libertarians Liberals and the Left say, your appearance, how you dress matters. When I bear arms in public, as is my right, I dress appropriately.

    How you conduct yourself in public matters. With or without a side arm. But with a side arm it matters a great deal how you conduct yourself in public.
    The man is a great example of proper conduct in public with a side arm. I’m so glad to see it.

  15. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    “A few minutes later, police officers showed up, and I said “Where’s the robbery at?”

    When they saw me, they were laughing. They said, “We know there won’t be any robbery here, because you’re here!””

    Nice! The Chief where I live said that sometimes tourists (from MA, NY, CT, etc.) call for a person with a gun when it’s just someone open carrying. He said the a car is dispatched…to explain to the caller that open carry is legal here in NH. Ha, ha, ha.

    Still, I had 2 women from PA who kept asking me about not getting a parking ticket at Weirs Beach in Laconia. Bike Week has just finished and the parking kiosks were still covered. I was in shorts, T shirt, and sneakers. I could not seem to alleviate their concern and I couldn’t figure out why they kept asking me. It was 3 days later when I realized that I had been open carrying and that they had probably never seen a non-LE like that. Silly Pennsylvanians.

    1. avatar nyglockowner says:

      I spent a few days visiting Acadia NP back in May. As soon as I crossed into NH, I stopped at the rest stop, retrieved my case from the trunk, and put on my inside-the-waistband holster. It was nice to visit free America, but passing through NYC, CT, and MA was nerve racking.

  16. avatar TexTed says:

    Good on him. Damn proud to call him a fellow Texan.

    I actually saw an open carrier the other day. First I have ever seen in Texas, and I’ve been looking. Was some tiny town like Palestine or somewhere. Open carry it s legal here but it is extremely rare. For this guy to do it, with that smile and that attitude, pretty much makes for a perfect blend to.get exactly the results he’s getting.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      Same in Eugene Oregon. Never once in 19 years, have I seen an “open carry”. That has to say something!

    2. avatar Ing says:

      I think open carry is rare just about everywhere. I keep an eye out, and I’ve only seen 4 open carriers in 5 years: two in Idaho, two in my rural hometown in Washington (and one of those two was me).

  17. avatar RA-15 says:

    Cudos to Mr Deano , I’m proud to see you living in Texas & being a supporter of our 2nd amendment right to keep & bear arms. This country needs as many TRUE patriots as it/we can get. You are fighting the good , the only , fight : our freedoms. They are not allways free. Thank you.

  18. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    1) Open carrying with an IWB holster? Does not compute. They have no retention besides friction. If you’re going to open carry, get a proper retention holster.
    2) I wonder what color hair dye he was buying there at Wally*World.

    ^ This is what an immigrant looks like. Glad to have him here and congrats on obtaining citizenship! Illegal aliens are a completely different conversation.

  19. avatar FedUp says:

    Do you get mistaken for LE more often when you’re wearing the blue line holster and/or a blue line T-shirt, or does it happen no matter what you’re wearing?

  20. avatar Docduracoat says:

    That is a well dressed and articulate man!
    We need more legal immigrants just like him.
    I would be proud to go shooting with him

  21. avatar little horn says:

    damn good read. i know its late but Welcome!

  22. avatar barnbwt says:

    The white cowboy hat & winning smile are how the cops & bystanders know he’s the Good Guy, though 😉

    Those of us with resting dog-face and an aversion to hats are still boned.

  23. avatar Ralph says:

    That is one cool dude!

  24. avatar WiffleballTony says:

    You’re an inspiration

  25. avatar Zero Foo says:

    This is fantastic. And the left calls us “anti-immigrant”.

    We need more freedom-loving immigrants like Deano.

  26. avatar John J. McCarthy, Jr. says:

    I’m glad this guy got here.

  27. avatar jono says:

    This is ridiculous. Why does anyone need 4 cowboy hats? 😛

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Everyone needs 4 cowboy hats. You need a dress felt hat for winter, address straw hat for summer, a work straw hat for summer, and dress straw hat for summer. Come on man, we are not animals.

      1. avatar Gunr says:

        Do you know why cowboys roll the rims on their hats?
        Wait for it……………………
        So they can get four in the front seat of their pickups.

  28. avatar Gabe says:

    Deano, you are inspiring sir! I love your story, your positive attitude, and your generous open heart. I will be sharing your story with others. You are a fine Patriot!

  29. avatar Cory C. says:

    What a cool dude. I’m glad he became an American. Thanks for sharing.

  30. avatar PosseMan says:

    Where can I get that red shirt in the fifth picture?! I love it!

  31. avatar brian says:

    God bless you sir for fighting the good fight by cheerfully representing the Cause and choosing America!

  32. avatar Justsomeguy says:

    I don’t care what color you are or where you came from, I do care if you are going to melt into the pot. This guy sure as hell does.

    The physique, demeanor and manner of dress help him pull off what he’s doing. I don’t think I’d do as well for a number of reasons.

  33. avatar el Possum Guapo says:

    But nothing was said about what’s it like to open carry an immigrant from Jamaica. This article was misleading.

    1. avatar Sora says:

      Missing “as”

  34. avatar Sal Chichon says:

    That man is more American than many of the shitty ones born here! Good on him!!!

  35. avatar Ryea says:

    Deano, you’re as Texan in spirit as me! And i had two relatives massacred @ Goliad! Glad Deano’s here.. We’ll take some more like him, please!

  36. avatar Sora says:

    You don’t have to have green card.
    Aliens admitted as immigrant status, including refugees, asylum seekers (different), who have demonstrated to be state resident can buy guns under federal law.
    Carry permit, on the other hand….

  37. avatar Matt o says:

    I have the utmost respect for legal immigrants. I generally don’t open carry both to be low key, and my resting b**ch face tends to scare away the curious and encourag those who demonize us. It’s men like Deano who are leading the normalization process and I salute him.

  38. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

    A feel good story in TTAG in the morning?! I kept waiting for the catch like seeing Deano in prison or at his own funeral. I was relieved when he made it all the way through. What a pleasant fellow.

  39. avatar MIO says:

    The ignorance of our own is astounding. Damn shame this guy has to show them the way.

  40. avatar 4808 N says:

    I’m glad Deano chose Texas. Proud to be his neighbour.

  41. avatar arc says:

    Some good news for once! Sharing around the internet.

  42. avatar Drew Dennis says:

    This guy is more American than 1/2 the Americans I know…

  43. avatar Scott says:

    Bravo Deano. My hats off to you.

  44. avatar BRUCE CLARK says:

    This guy became a citizen of this country the right way, the legal way. My hat is off to him. I wish he had come to Florida, we need more like him here. All I ask is very simple, immigrate the legal way and as far as I’m concerned I don’t give a damed where you’re from. Better someone from a foreign country immigrating here because he wants to be here and loves the idea of the freedoms he’ll receive when he becomes a citizen, than some shithook from some commie state like NY or California coming to Florida and wanting to change how we do it down here.

  45. avatar Rich says:

    I love this guy. Black or white everyone has the right to self defense..I’am an older white guy and seeing this story makes me proud of this country. I live in Florida where the gun laws are O but still need lots of work, open carry being on of them. Any person who is a natrualized US citizen needs to understand that the 2nd amm is not a privlage but a right. Sorry about the spelling after
    work merlot is kickin in

  46. avatar PeterK says:

    Awesome story. Thanks for sharing!

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email